Written by PETA
Ace—a kind, shy pit bull—was chained outside 24/7. The area where he lived was worn, there was not a single blade of grass within sniffing distance, and he was living in a plastic barrel that offered minimal shelter from the elements. After a bloody encounter with another dog, Ace was left with swollen and infected genitals, and his neglectful "owner" let the painful sores go untreated for more than a month.
A concerned complainant first reported Ace's plight to local law-enforcement officials, who refused to help. When we received the initial call about Ace, we got a similar and frustrating run-around from officials, who assured us that the dog was "fine."
By the following morning, our persistent efforts to secure help for Ace resulted in getting a qualified animal control officer dispatched to Ace's Alabama home. Once the officer arrived on the scene, it was obvious that Ace was not "fine," and he was immediately seized. The untreated infection had taken its toll on Ace, and when he arrived at the local animal shelter, he was finally given a humane release from his prolonged suffering.
In addition to suffering through sweltering heat and blistering cold, dogs like Ace, who are forced to spend their lives at the end of a lonely chain, are susceptible to violent encounters with other animals. Chained dogs often become fearful of intruders and overly protective of their tiny patches of ground. This can encourage unnaturally aggressive behavior that often has tragic results for the animals and people who go near them. If you know of or see an injured or neglected chained dog, please take action.
Written by Logan Scherer
What's a person to do when her one-woman demonstration against a traveling exotic animal act brings out a band of bullies? Follow Bridgette Brady's lead: hold her sign—and her head—even higher.
Bridgette, who stays busy helping homeless dogs and cats in Escanaba, Michigan, was determined to educate city residents about Joe "Exotic" Schreibvogal, the man behind GW Exotic Animal Memorial Park. When Schreibvogal brought his menagerie of miserable animals, "Mystical Magic of the Endangered" to her local mall, Bridgette set up a protest outside. The sign she held as she stood there was so simple—"Joe 'Exotic'-fined $25,000 for animal abuse by the USDA!"—but Bridgette claims that it riled up the show's workers and that they surrounded her and tried to intimidate her.
Did she retreat? Nope—quite the opposite. The vegan morning radio show host has stepped up her efforts to ensure that exotic animal acts are forever banned in her town. In addition to writing letters to editors and staging protests, Bridgette, who's also vice president of the City Planning Commission, is now working to pass a local ordinance to ban exotic or endangered animal acts.
For her relentless determination to make a difference for animals, we are delighted to present Bridgette Brady with an Outstanding Activist Award for a job well done!
Written by Karin Bennett
Reality-show contestants Gino D'Acampo and Stuart Manning have been charged with cruelty to animals for allegedly killing and eating a rat in Australia's Outback while filming Britain's I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here.
It seems like only yesterday that PETA sent its first plea to television producers, at the time it was for Survivor, begging them to leave animals alone. In fact, the outcry after contestants in a subsequent season chased, stabbed, killed, and cooked a pig on Survivor: The Australian Outback prompted a change in Australia's laws to make it illegal to torture and kill animals for entertainment. Apparently, execs at IACGMOOH missed that memo.
I bet they'll pay attention now, especially since IACGMOOH contestant George Hamilton told the Mirror that execs gave the go-ahead for the kill. (Worth mentioning: Hamilton notes that the rat, who was the main course in D'Acampo's "rat risotto," was a camp worker's companion animal.)
Australia dishes up cruelty to animals in many forms, but it beats the U.S. when it comes to laws that protect animals from television show abuses. Reality-show stars everywhere are hopefully taking note and will think twice next time they contemplate torturing an animal for ratings.
Written by Karin Bennett
Last month, Amali, a 5-year-old giraffe, got an unnatural knot in her neck from an injury sustained in-transit to the Tulsa Zoo, where she was expected to breed with a male giraffe. After weeks of treatment with ineffective drugs, Amali's neck remained crooked. A few days ago, zoo veterinarians prepared her for an X-ray procedure, but soon after sedation, Amali died.
Amali's disability may have looked unusual, but her tragic passing is an all-too-ordinary occurrence for giraffes at zoos. Captive giraffes frequently die as a result of inadequate care and space. Veterinary neglect is often lethal—as it was in 2005 for a giraffe named Kenya at the Columbus Zoo after the zoo's chief veterinarian administered the wrong drug during surgery. In 2006, Makena, a 1-year-old giraffe, fatally broke her neck while she struggled to free herself after her head became wedged in a small space at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas. Earlier last year, Dusti died from strangulation when he became entangled in a pulley system at Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. The year before, Makonnen, a 2-year-old giraffe, died in a barn fire at Six Flags in Vallejo, Cali.
Giraffes belong in the wild, not in enclosures that offer many opportunities for these curious animals to become injured. If you notice abuse or mistreatment of animals in your local zoo, file a report. Your observations and documentation can save lives that would otherwise be lost to neglect and carelessness.
I didn't think much about how much power toys came with until I started shopping for my nephew this holiday season. And I'm not talking about the 18 AAs you'll have to buy to make the new gadgets go. As I perused catalogs and toy sites, I realized that the messages toys send to children are powerful. So here's a list of some cool finds that will help you beget the best gift of all: kindness.
For the Outdoor Explorer: Instead of giving JCPenny's Hunting Set, give Family Pastimes Walk in the Woods Cooperative Game from KidBean.com: Can a kid ever have too many friends? Friendly fauna abound in the Walk in the Woods Cooperative Game. Lions and tigers and bears—oh yes!
For the Aquatic Adventurer: Instead of giving Wonderworld's Wooden Fishing Puzzle, give PETA's Sammy the Sea Kitten plush: Pieces of cold, stiff wood that simulate the suffering of fish or the cuddly soft fins of PETA's Sammy the Sea Kitten plush toy? Um, do we even need to ask?
For the All-Star MVP: Instead of giving Nokona's kangaroo-leather baseball glove, give Carpenter Trade Co.'s custom-synthetic baseball glove: Synthetic and sympathetic gear—always a perfect catch.
For the Fledgling Foodie: Instead of giving McDonald's Food Cart by Creative Designs, give Majesco's Gardening Mama video game. What's cuter than the one-and-only Gardening Mama herself? A kid with a green thumb. (And for the cost-conscious, play our super-new, super-free New Super Chick Sisters video game.)
For the Wildlife of the Party: Instead of giving Brookstone's Frog-O-Sphere, give the LED Jellyfish Mood Lamp from ThinkGeek.com: a party on your kid's desk—every day of the year? Just turn on the psychedelic-chic brilliance of an LED Jellyfish Mood Lamp.
For the Showbiz Superstar: Instead of giving Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for Nintendo Wii by 2K Play, give Cynthia King Dance's vegan ballet slippers: Classy, elegant, and cruelty-free—they're a budding ballerina's dream come true!
Happy holiday shopping!
I'm convinced that there actually are eight days in Paul McCartney's week. How else does the world's hottest sexagenarian find the time to do all the work he does for animals? The latest in his long line of animal-friendly efforts? Paul lent his legendary voice to our newest exposé, which shatters through the brick and mortar of slaughterhouses and factory farms to show people what really happens to animals before they end up on people's dinner plates. In the video, Paul states, "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian."
And, in a PETA Files exclusive interview, you can hear what Paul has to say about how easy it is to go vegetarian—especially in London, which we recently named the most vegetarian-friendly city in the world—and learn about the thrill he gets from eating cruelty-free:
Can't get enough of this music icon and friend to animals? Me neither. Enter our contest to win a copy of Beatles Rock Band for the opportunity to hang with Paul (and John, Ringo, and George) in your living room every night. And remember if the jet-setting, always-on-the-run crooner can find the time to help animals, so can you.
"London has soared to the top of the world's culinary league tables in recent years, boasting a mind boggling range of eateries.
"We have a noble history of vegetarianism so it is great news to be crowned the best city on earth to enjoy meat-free nosh. We are helping to cultivate a taste for all things veggie by supporting green fingered efforts by all Londoners to grow their own fresh fruit and veg."—London Mayor Boris Johnson's reaction to his city's being named the most vegetarian-friendly city in the world.
If Boris' outstanding support of all things vegetarian doesn't convince you that London deserved top honors, or if you just want to make your mouth water, read all about the city's culinary delights.*
Written by Shawna Flavell
*Warning: You might get the urge to buy airline tickets to fly across the big pond after reading. Don't say I didn't warn you.
It was a frigid day in Budapest, Hungary, yesterday, but our scorching-hot leopards warmed the hearts of holiday shoppers in the country's largest shopping mall by urging them to fauxget about fur this holiday season.
This is one of those bizarre stories that could easily stump the panel on a "Wait, Wait … Don't Tell Me!" pick-the-fake-news-story segment.
On Wednesday night, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources dumped 2,200 gallons of deadly poison into a 5.7-mile stretch of a canal in order to prevent Asian carp from escaping the canal and entering Lake Michigan while an electronic barrier was turned off for servicing. They poisoned every single fish in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal with Rotenone, which kills fish by depleting oxygen from their blood and causes them to float to the surface of the water, where they gasp for air as they slowly suffocate.
Tens of thousands of animals lost their lives in order to kill a few carp who they thought might be in the waterway. So far, a lone carp has been found among the carnage. At a price tag of somewhere around $3 million, that has to make him or her the most expensive dead carp in history.
Asian carp, who consume nearly half their body weight in plankton every day, were originally imported in the 1970s to clean aquaculture and wastewater treatment facilities' retention ponds. Flooding throughout the 1990s allowed the fish to escape into the Mississippi River, which is connected to the Great Lakes through a series of rivers and canals. If the fish reach the Great Lakes, it is feared that they will crowd out other species of fish and threaten the lucrative sport and commercial fishing industries.
In other words, this is a manmade threat to manmade industries that carp and other fish are paying for with their lives.
I know what you're thinking: Surely they would only kill thousands of animals if there were no alternative? But you would be mistaken. The fish could have been kept at bay with sonic and light deterrents or by simply closing the locks while the barrier is down. But the latter would have caused shipping delays, and we can't have that.
We understand that a plan for a back-up barrier is in the works, which is great—it just would have been nice if they'd thought of that a little sooner, before killing tens of thousands of animals and threatening the lives of other animals and humans who may inadvertently come into contact with the toxic stew they have created.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Gaga's fashion-driven stunts are a feast for the imagination. The avant-garde, synth-pop superstar left me reeling after her spectacularly maniacal, glass-shattering AMA performance and the light-up get-up she rocked during it. I've had her new album on repeat ever since, and with the news that the polar bear coat Lady Gaga sets fire to in her epically trippy video for "Bad Romance" is cruelty-free (I was a bit concerned!), her tracks will forever dominate my shuffle. Fabulously faux, the coat was made by fur-free fashion designer Benjamin Cho in 2004 and was revamped specially for Gaga's video.
From her Kermit-crazy anti-fur commentary to the humane hotness of her "Bad Romance" video, Gaga's kooky couture makes the chart-topper a style genius and a kind role model, which is why we've asked her to take it all off to educate people about animals killed on fur farms. We're still waiting for her response, but we've already got some awesome ideas. Post-apocalyptic disco dreamscape, anyone?
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.